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Planning To Make Your First Move Towards True Data-Driven Marketing?

For too long now, folks in marketing have invested in marketing automation with generic customer journeys. A one-size-fits-all approach. These investments are only a first step towards the real end goal : true data-driven marketing.

2 out of 3 of the leading marketers admit that data-based decisions beat gut instinct.

Overall, data-driven marketing is data-first thinking in marketing, and it helps in better targeting, drive insights and deliver optimizations to achieve results that matter. It is the approach of optimising brand communications based on customer information. For this, a marketer needs smart tools and expertise in finding signals from noise. it requires investment ahem budgets.

Several years ago, Gartner gained notoriety for suggesting CMOs will be spending more than CIOs on technology. No surprise that tech giants like Adobe, Oracle, Google, Salesforce and IBM are the biggest suppliers of martech today. The lines are blurring.

Gartner suggestion was never about ‘marketing winning and IT losing’. It was more about the grey area where marketing’s scope has overlapped with multiple consumer touchpoints earlier considered part of IT.

Back to our main point on data driven marketing. Based on the level of digital maturity, many savvy brands are slowly crawling towards unique models with structured data that help in targeting, driving insights and delivering better optimization.

What is advanced data driven digital marketing?

Only a few have successfully crossed the chasm with data and analytics to target the right person at the right time with the right message. Basically, if you are able to tick off atleast 3-4 of the below pointers, you can call yourself ‘advanced’.

  • You’ve said Hello! to machine learning, and Goodbye! to rule-based customer segmentation
  • You’ve connected online and offline channels in real-time in order to do true smart retargeting.
  • You’re able to include offline behavior of customers in customer journeys
  • There is consistent personalization across all platforms, whether it is in bannering, emailing or website personalization
  • You’re running automated optimization on who to show what message. This means the system will dynamically decide (based on the profile of the viewer) whether you should show a banner for newsletters or a banner for app install.
  • You’ve access to actionable automated insights and reports that drive your marketing decisions

Two key elements of marketing stack are a DMP and a CDP. So what is the big-deal difference between a DMP (Data Management Platform) or CDP (Customer Data Platform)?

CDPs work with both anonymous and known individuals, storing “personally identifiable information” such as names, postal addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers, while DMPs work almost exclusively with anonymous entities such as cookies, devices, and IP addresses.” definition from CDP institute.

In simple terms, DMPs can’t store PII (Personally Identifiable Information).

The whole purpose of a DMP is to help us understand our audience better so that we can target our ads better. DMPs are ultimately in the business of packaging and repackaging data. In general, our audiences get more accurate over time because we get to collect more anonymous data about our customers.

How do you start data driven marketing?

  • Building a 360* perspective of your customers and segmenting it is a great start.  All online and offline data can be gathered, linked and exposed in an actionable way using basic And & Or rules.
  • This segmentation based And & Or rules from a business point of view is a good first step but it needs some more brainpower. A machine learning logic is embedded to analyse all data-points and characteristics of a customer (rather than only 1 or 2) and classify him automatically. These Machine Learning outputs in your DMP will help you target lookalikes, for example “Customers likely to convert”.
  • Bake in a reporting environment for access to  KPIs and performance metrics through Dashboards and self-service Business Intelligence.

There are no shortage for hot takes and quotes on the importance of data, including the UAE version, ” data is the new crude oil’. Let me throw in one popular one.

“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.”

Jim Barksdale

For a starter, it can be nightmarish to understand the whole ecosystem and make an informed decision. In case you are taking these critical steps towards true data driven marketing, consider getting in touch with us through [email protected] for consultation.

Digitally is a culture inspired and data driven digital agency based in Dubai, UAE.


Digitally Brand Marketing Management,
OneSpace Building No. 3, Green Community,
Dubai Investment Park, DIP 1, Dubai

Digitally is a culture inspired and data driven digital agency based in Dubai, UAE.


Digitally Brand Marketing Management,
OneSpace Building No. 3, Green Community,
Dubai Investment Park, DIP 1, Dubai

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